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Putting people first

18 December 2008

The new policing and crime bill is designed to keep you safer and to increase police accountability.

The bill requires the government to work with police to give the public more information about crime in their neighbourhood, and more say in how their communities are policed.

Tightening rules on sex trafficking and alcohol sales

The wide-ranging bill creates a new offence of 'paying for sex with a prostitute who is controlled for gain', designed to protect women who have been trafficked to the UK for the sex trade.

It also tightens laws regarding loitering, kerb-crawling and brothels, and reclassifies lap dancing clubs so they require a sex establishment licence. This will give local residents more say in where strip bars can operate.

It includes a mandatory code of practice for stores selling alcohol, and expands police powers to help them deal with the issue of young people drinking in public.

Focusing on crimes that damage communities

The legal changes are backed up by enforcement: police forces will be regularly inspected to ensure they are visible and working to increase the public's confidence in them.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the public should have the right to expect the police to focus on the crimes that matter to them.

'The new policing and crime bill will ensure that the police and local authorities tackle the issues that matter to you, such as alcohol related crime and disorder, prostitution and lap dancing clubs.'

Key measures

Key measures include:

  • creating stronger ties between airport security and police
  • giving wider powers to UK Border Agency officers to question travellers and require passports and travel documents
  • complying with international conventions such as the Schengen Information System II, and introducing more efficient systems in extradition issues
  • making sure that people with football banning orders in England and Wales are banned from matches in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • making it easier for employers to check the backgrounds of people applying for work with children or vulnerable adults

More information

You can find the policing and crime bill on the UK Parliament website (new window).

Read the full press release on the Press Office website (new window).

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Related documents

Home Office websites